Not only Nokia & Microsoft can be the only brands that imagine the future and envision the needs and usages for the coming decades, give Google an opportunity ok?
Maybe wave, video or buzz were ahead of it’s time, so Google is trying a new strategy for it’s “futuristic” products… instead of releasing them they’ve now decided just to design prototypes… and test them via viral ads! Much funkier and cheaper than building and closing down entire teams right?
Project Glass act as a second layer on top of your glasses (if you need them) becoming that Augmented Reality layer that we’re still missing within our retinas.
The group have created this Google+ space to “share some ideas” and evaluate the public reaction, who knows… maybe now that Google is starting to “manufacture” its own hardware Project Glass is just around the corner….
Now who was expecting this? Everyone! Techcrunch have been talking about circles, rumors, Google’s internal super secret Facebook killer project for months… ages? And it has finally arrived… “Google +”. Nothing to do with all their previous social attempts (Orkut, buzz which never really took off, or +1 which will definitely match in this new experiment besides already being a sharing & search-help positioning tool).
Let’s see if we can summarize what Google + is without needing a 30min post….
In essence Google+ is the Google approach to how on-line social interaction should be done on-line (not only sharing)…. Google is still first amongst the most visited places on planet earth… but Facebook is just behind so what can they do? Add a social layer that truly covers ALL of its on-line services. And how can we do that? With an omnipresent bar that reminds EVERY Google visitor (not necessarily a user) on earth of the presence of this product / sharing tool. Breaking Google+ into 3 main subtools:
Circles is the core functionality allowing users select, organize & filter contacts for “optimal sharing” (nothing new here) from their Gmail & Google contact list (we imagine you can import facebook + twitter contacts too?).
Then lets say you’re searching for a trending topic on Google, once you get the result you can instantly share it with those people circles which you can access from that famous black bar. No need to click on the search result itself… and the same applies if you happen to be using/visiting any other Google product and be logged-in… think of youtube, maps, picassa, blogger, docs, sites….
Then come the “Sparks” which is some sort of a contacts-universal “interests search box”, when searching for one of your favorite topics Google will propose what they think is purely related to your “Interests”, how? We assume using +1, your contact’s +1 hits, your navigation history (kept by Google when you’re logged on obviously), your personal and your close “circle’s” interests will have something to do with those results. “For nerding out together”….
And finally come the “Hangouts”… some sort of “I wanna chat” alerting feature (and a redesigned video chat tool) for those circles you chose to constantly keep in touch with (imagine video chat with up to 10 people).
Seems like Google have also understood that their minimalistic… nearly rudimentary design approach to all their services needed a strong user interface redesign, just like Microsoft with Windows Phone 7 or Windows 8. Let’s see how successful G+ is.
And today it was all about Chrome OS, or nearly (well not really, only the buzzy keynote part of it). A deep Chrome OS demonstration was made, hardware integration, file managing, webstore, apps, more apps, more offline stuff support, more big partner names unveiled, hardware, programs and a constant message “always connected”.
The most interesting stuff from the Chrome OS side weren’t the hardware or the software themselves (despite agreeing that a browser-based OS for the masses is fairly groundbreaking), but the pricing & aggressive strategy Google has for the upcoming years.
Google is pointing a big gun at Microsoft head right now. Gauging Microsoft’s world domination from a software perspective. By offering extremely affordable machines ($28/month per user for businesses and $20/month per user for schools) with included software & hardware updates (we would have to see the engagement details) Google has just unveiled the last piece of their gruesome strategy: building up a serious Windows competitor and attacking Microsoft’s historical cash cow.
I/O is obviously about much much more that Chrome OS and tons of sessions about dev tools, HTML5 coolness, libraries, games, marketplace etc took place (and still are). A few other interesting bits included a new redesign of Android’s market store, the Android Manifest (developers can now decide on which devices and… was that carriers too? their apps are used), or the (basic for survival) big steps towards app monetization Google has taken. Too much to tell, too many details.
Google have finally become the new Microsoft. Facebook… your move!
In your night soup too! Because Android’s omnipresence is about to get bigger, bolder, better? I was reading an article this morning that questioned Apples iPad supremacy. Just like with the Smartphone market, it’s not the “how” but the “when” (will Android and its tablet army claim market supremacy) that we want to know .
Today & tomo are Google’s days (bad date for Msoft to announce …. to announce something they bought). Google I/O 2011 is all about Android (so far, hopefully Chrome OS to follow), Android for home, a hardware standardization framework for Android, a Music iTunes (more like Amazon) service competitor… (not Android-only this time… but compatible with Android devices of course), a few tips on Android’s future OS version… Ice Cream Sandwich. Our stomach is about to get upset if we keep eating so much Android. Seriously.
So let’s start with the most evident one… Google “Music Beta” (the video up here). A project which clearly seems incomplete as no-one will be able to buy any tracks or albums directly from Google…. labels probably don’t want another diluted streaming service (especially now that Apple is about to launch theirs and Spotify about to enter the U.S…. nearly).
What Music Beta allows you to do however is to store up to 20K songs (you upload them for free to the cloud) and stream them wherever you want… desktop, Android phone, Tablet (details of the service this way). Then, like any other music library manager you can create your own playlists aaaaaaaaand save them locally (like with Spotify).
The rest of the Android new features announced today (like that open accessory API framework, or the movie rental option for Android market or some impressive figures) we’re not going to bore you with them. We’ll let Engadget do that for us (and you can follow their live coverage for tomo too this way).
Can’t imagine Apple’s belly…. but I’m sure they’re not that sad… after all Google hasn’t managed any important agreement with music labels… yet.
The first decade of this new millennium…ahhhh those were the days… when Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist. Microsoft was constantly being threatened by the European and U.S. antitrust regulations. And look now, big G being sued by Msoft who ironically enough have accused Google of using technical tactics to keep their search & advertising European domination. (oh and Qwiki looks like the Wikipedia of the future, someone just found an embeddable +1 button… the world is going crazy)!
+1? Yep, that super secret and always experimental “social layer” that everyone was aware of, like Google’s music streaming service, their new status bar or those many other 1001 experiments just went live yesterday. And within less than 24 hours people are already cracking and embedding the “inexistent” button on their websites (without big G’s permission of course).
+1 will basically be “another” social button just like Facebook’s “like” or Twitter’s “retweet” but Google are positioning it as a way to share your favorite search results with your friends, family and the broader web in general. Your benefit? When browsing and searching the web through Google you’ll get recommendations of similar searches from your social circle or other web users.
The benefit for big G? …. The ads they serve via their platforms will get even more accurate and here’s a new justification to convince ad networks, brands and advertisers to stick to adwords rather than using alternative ad platforms (facebook, twitter…).
The whole thing is (as usual) an experiment, but you can join it on their experiments page (although you should expect to wait for a while before you start seeing the +1 button in your search results).
A while ago I wanted to write an article entitled “When Wired goes Tired”, and then after buying last February’s UK edition number I gave up. I refused to criticize one of my favorite publications because despite the fact that Wired is always a hit & a miss, some months like the “What are you selling?” one, worth 10 rubbish other publications.
I reserve myself the right to talk about the quality decline in article & topics discussed, forward thinking ideas and astonishing infographics for a later date. Maybe when Conde Nast steps deeper with their hoofs, just like AOL with our favorite blogs, but we know it’s not for tomorrow.
What we know, is that here in the UK (although worldwide available thanks to the Internet glory) another data+ digital trends + amazing illustrations & knowhow on-line publication just appeared: Think Quarterly (yep, they couldn’t be more imaginative with the name).
And if Wired has some very reputed journalists, editors and creatives behind, TQ has… well, they have Google behind. Yep, it seems that Google have (one of their many other 34532543 experiments) decided to release their own “all things digital” publication. Conceived as a “thank you” engaging communication initiative sent to their UK partners & advertisers. Now it’s free on-line, and even if they say there are “no plans to sell hard copies”, we know that at least another 3 “books” are coming throughout the rest of 2011. Each 2 months.
Those of you familiarized with Wired, FastCo or any other publication which makes boring science and statistics report highly & visually enjoyable and comprehensible (while keeping a “cool” techie factor) will certainly appreciate Think Quarterly.
Even if this first number entirely dedicated to data has some very subjective articles (but again this is not aimed for the general public, it’s more like an internal zine) which are too directly linked with some Google products (adwords, youtube….) and the people behind (Hal Varian…).
Still, there’s a few highly recommendable articles (Vodafone CEO interview, the top 10 places to see “sexy” data on-line) that we’re sure you’ll appreciate. Enjoy the big G version of how data should be published!
Everyone is wondering what the next Google will be like. Whether it will be born in India, London or California, and each year there’s a new start-up, a new project (let’s leave facebook & twitter aside) that plays & twists a search game with a slightly different approach.
All those little innovations (privacy by the already extinguished Yauba, computational search by Wolfram Alpha, “decision” engines by Bing….) are sooner or later absorbed by big G, bought, copied or improved… they’re taken into account.
What Google hasn’t managed to do yet (besides their products) is reach every nook & cranny of the web (your facebook messages for example), but it will come… or not. In the meantime a young Israeli (only 19 y.o. without even a degree) named Daniel Gross has come up with the next big challenge for Google: Greplin.
His search product indexes and lets you search all of your online social accounts (Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and it went public last month.
Daniel left Israel for the Silicon Valley to go under the Y combinator umbrella last year, not only leaving his studies but also the 3 year obligatory national service…
and after a complete makeover of Greplin‘s back end they’re now 5 people dedicated to the product. What we don’t know yet is how long until Google starts indexing other competitor’s services…. and if they’ll ever allow it.
Just like Google street view takes you to visit most cities around the world and very soon they’ll take you into shops & stalls, the Mountain View giant has finally opened their famous museum “Art Project“…
My phone company is moaning, but not to me, well actually yes. They’ve called me asking why do I use so much of their network capacity. “I bought an unlimited data package” I answer. But they keep asking, saying it’s not good for the environment… and that if I keep watching Youtube videos on my smartphone the world will implode and then explode.
Am I being selfish? mmmmmm, I just like using all those web services & products on my phone and tablet as if I were in front of my pc desktop. But my carrier says it’s wrong. Is my usage and “always connected” lifestyle something carriers can’t keep up with despite all those LTE and 4G promises? Will the “unlimited” plans go away?
Seems like Telcos have a big dilemma in their hands… more usage of our networks = more money, but also the world imploding & exploding, and who’s to blame for this? All those Internet content & service providers like big G, big Y or big A, so selfish these. In fact, they’re so ungrateful that they want to become the new user-data monopolizers and go for a wild trip gathering user data, exploiting user data, monetizing this data…. for free! And who’s the best at doing such a hazardous yet very rewarding task? Google of course, although it seems it’s only a matter of time before Facebook becomes the user-centric king.
I use Google’s search engine not for finding things but for correcting my word spelling… because it’s a great spelling checking tool! And it’s not only useful for that… but it seems it’s very good finding things too! A great campaign apparently developed to promote Adwords in Turkey…
Internal competitions to boost competitiveness while keeping the corporate culture intact is something (we can tell you) not easy to organize. Yet here we find a rather creative competitive approach Jonathan Rosenberg decided to bring to product management inside Google…
[tweetmeme] In a Google world… bikes have overtaken cars as the main transport in the cities. Cities which are self sufficient thanks to Google’s windmill & solar plants, which at the same time provide energy to the nearby organic farms that grow & breed the delicious food you can get for free all day long.
In a Google world we all have 1GB/sec internet connections at home where our Google AI hub manages, monitors & synchronizes (collects data?) all aspects of our life; from TV or mobile devices to our pet needs and of course, our hybrid car.
In a Google world there are no share limits or restrictions, no patents, no burdens… everything is open source & and if the trademark office or any other institution say you can’t use them, well, Google will have, at least, a copy for you to look at.
In a Google world all the services & products you can ask for, or imagine, are free… or nearly. Because they’re financed by ultra-customized ads specifically aimed & designed to reach you Mr & Mss Redford. Looking for the new BMW Z111? Naaaa, Google knows you can’t afford it, plus G also knows your wife prefers a family car, she’s pregnant and it doesn’t match your driving style. Stop dreaming you can pretend Mr Redford! That’s why Google Car has calculated that the new Hyundai Matrix is a much wiser choice… “Mr Redford the new Hyundai Matrix with extra luggage capacity of 500L and consuming only 1liter/100km is now available in our Google Store for only 249,99€. Extra features & apps at only 0,99€ each.”